By Gerard Machado
Goa Chitra’s roots, in many ways, are linked with the curator’s deep-founded interest and previous experience with the music scene in Goa. Victor Hugo Gomes’s pioneering Jazz Music Festivals of the early 2000s in Goa were given a new lease of life with the launch of Goa Chitra. One of the jazz musicians who performed at the museum, Gerard Machado, shares his experience.
Victor Hugo Gomes has long been a stalwart in organizing music concerts in Goa. One day I got a call from him inviting me to perform with my Jazz band at his Great Music Revival concert series, I accepted his invitation and this was the first time I met him in the year 2000. During my three day stay at the Marriott hotel we must have met only two or three times during breakfast or at the lunch table in the coffee shop. We hardly had any conversation. I returned to Bangalore where I live. A year later Victor came over to Bangalore along with his wife Aldina, we hung out at a friend’s farm in the outskirts of Bangalore playing music and chatting on various topics like philosophy, history, art, culture.
Victor visited me several times in Bangalore, we became good friends. It was at one of those all night jam sessions and discussions he mentioned to me that he would like to create a Museum showcasing and promoting Goan heritage, art and culture at his vast land in Benaulim. Wow! Sounds great! But that’s going to be a mammoth task, I said to him. Victor was serious and determined. I knew he was dreaming big, he always did and always came up with brilliant ideas. I also knew he is hard working and is capable of getting done anything he wanted to make his dream come true.
After a couple when years I came to Goa for another performance, I visited Victor and he took me over to his dream project site. The site was all cleaned up and ready for construction. He explained the plan to me briefly. The man with a plan and vision was at work towards turning his land into a Museum. I returned to Bangalore after a few days. We kept in touch as some more years passed by and Victor’s dream project was ready. He founded Goa Chitra and Goa Chakra for the whole world to see. An awesome way of connecting the present with the past that appealed to the masses, especially the youth.
Recently I visited Goa Chitra along with my wife Stella, we took a tour around the Museum and had a wonderful experience viewing ancient artifacts, implements, items of Goan cultural & historical interest that are on display. We were informed by Aldina that Victor himself had picked up many of these items from the remote areas of Goa far and near. Beautiful paintings painted by Victor and other artists are also on display and are a treat for all art lovers visiting the Museum.
Last year I had the privilege to perform with my Jazz band at Goa Chitra for a wonderful Goan and expat audience. The Concert was a fund raiser to patronize the magnificent Museum Goa Chitra. As a musician and artist I felt the need to support a cause I firmly believed in.
Gerard Machado is a Bangalore-based Jazz musician. Hailing from the musical Vonn Trap family of Mangalore, he began playing guitar at the age of six and has worked and collaborated with many musicians in India and abroad. Gerard has experimented with Indian classical music and has produced Jazz/Fusion and Gospel Albums. Apart from composing jingles and scoring music for numerous feature and animation films, he has performed for “Jazz Yatras”. His band “The Gerard Machado Network” plays Contemporary Jazz incorporating the Blues, Funk, Latin and Indian Rhythms.